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concessam Atticis Venerem, quando eam ne Græci quidem in alio genere linguæ obtinuerint.”—Instit. Orat. lib. x. 1.

One truth seems to apply to the strictures both of Horace and of Cæsar. Critical censures, especially when conveyed in verse, which so narrowly confines the space for qualification, and furnishes so strong a temptation to pointed sayings, are, in most cases, expressed too positively, and with exaggeration. The loss of Menander's works prevents us from comparing the copyist with his original ; but we must not be hurried away by the idea, that because originality and humour were not Terence's strong hold, and because in some of his pieces he was a professed translator, he had no portion of those qualities. There are touches, both of comic humour and of true taste in his works, scarcely to be surpassed in point of spirit, whatever advantage in point of elegance a more tractable language might have given to an Attic writer: and touches so natural, that in the absence of matterof-fact testimony, we may reasonably infer that they were native and not adopted. Donatus first, and afterwards Hurd in his Horace, have referred to the following as a peculiarly happy stroke of character in the Hecyra :

Tum tu igitur nihil adtulisti huc plus una sententia ?

Laches, the speaker, a covetous old legacyhunter, has been eagerly enquiring what his kinsman Phania had bequeathed him. Pamphilus stops his mouth with the moral reflection, that he left behind him the praise of having lived well. “ Is a sentence all you have brought home?” The spirit of this is exquisite, and the turn truly comic. Dr. Hurd says, in his Dissertation on the Provinces of the Drama, that “this is true humour. For his character, which was that of a lover of money, drew the observation naturally and forcibly from him. His disappointment of a rich succession made him speak contemptibly of a moral lesson, which rich and covetous men, in their best humours, have no high reverence for. And this too without design ; which is important, and shows the distinction of what, in the more restrained sense of the word, we call humour, from other modes of pleasantry. For had a young friend of the son, an unconcerned spectator of the scene, made the observation, it had then, in another's mouth, been wit, or a designed banter on the father's disappointment.”

Of this humour, distinguished from pleasantry, there is another admirable instance in the Hecyra, and that in the same character of Laches :

Odiosa hæc est ætas adolescentulis : E medio æquom excedere est. Postremo jam nos fabulæ Sumus, Pamphile, senex, atque anus.

On this Dr. Hurd further remarks, “ There is nothing, I suppose, in these words which provokes a smile. Yet the humour is strong, as before. In his solicitude to promote his son's satisfaction, he lets fall a sentiment truly characteristic, and which old men usually take great pains to conceal ; I mean, his acknowledgment of that suspicious fear of contempt, which is natural to old age. So true a picture of life, in the representation of this weak. ness, might, in other circumstances, have created

some pleasantry; but the occasion which forced it from him, discovering at the same time the amiable disposition of the speaker, covers the ridicule of it, or more properly converts it into an object of our esteem.

There is no character, in the delineation of which Terence excels more, than in that of the quaint and sometimes splenetic, but kind-hearted old man. Micio and Demea are an admirably contrasted pair of brothers. Chremes and Simo, in the Andrian, are naturally drawn and consistently supported. The long narrative of the latter, in the opening scene, is also a strong confirmation of Diderot's remark on this author's especial skill in conducting such necessary explanations. The French critic notices the absence of wit, or display of sentiment, which he says are always out of place. This is perfectly true; but quiet pathos, and the natural mixing up of amiable and selfish feeling, which we encounter so much more frequently in life than staring exhibitions either of virtue or vice, are quite compatible with the narrative parts of dramatic poetry, and give an interest and a heightening to it, without which the mere relation of the tale would be insipid. Of this we have a pregnant instance in the following passage of Simo's story :

Ibi tum filius Cum illis, qui amabant Chrysidem, una aderat frequens; Curabat una funus ; tristis interim, Nonnunquam conlacrumabat. Placuit tum id mihi : Sic cogitabam; Hic, parvæ consuetudinis Causa, hujus mortem tam fert familiariter: Quid, si ipse amasset ? quid hic mihi faciet, patri? Hæc ego putabam esse omnia humani ingenî, Mansuetique animi officia.

Hurd, in his Discourse on Poetical Imitation, remarks that this reasoning on Pamphilus's concern for Chrysis bears a strong resemblance to the comment of the Duke in Twelfth Night, on Valentine's report of Olivia's grief for the loss of a brother; and expresses his surprise that the similarity of sentiment should not have produced charge of plagiarism against Shakspeare, according to the usual habit of the critics. The passage is of extraordinary elegance:

O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame,

this debt of love but to a brother,
How will she love, when the rich golden shaft
Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else
That live in her ?

The Bishop closes his observations with the following liberal remark:

“Common sense directs us, for the most part, to regard resemblances in great writers, not as the pilferings or frugal acquisitions of needy art, but

fruits bounties of unenvyine genius, the free and liberal

nature.On the subject of originality, Terence, whose plays were not so well received as he felt that they deserved to be, thinks it necessary to vindicate his own system of borrowing, in regard to fables, in all his Prologues which have come down to us : and in that to the Eunuch, he still further

apologises for coincidence of characters, by alleging the necessary uniformity of moral description:

Quod si personis iisdem uti aliis non licet :
Quî magis licet, currentes Servos scribere,
Bonas Matronas facere, Meretrices malas,

Parasitum edacem, gloriosum Militem,
Puerum supponi, falli per Servum Senem,
Amare, odisse, suspicari? Denique
Nullum est jam dictum, quod non dictum sit prius.

One cannot but be sorry, that a man so highly gifted, and apparently of such an amiable character, should have been so much hurt, as Terence evidently was, by the malice of his calumniators and the want of general popularity. That he should have been personally run down as an imitator was peculiarly unfair, when we consider how few Latin authors there are, who are not liable to the same charge; and that after Terence's time, through the Augustan age, down to the last gasp of classical genius, the greatest writers not only formed themselves on the Grecian model, but translated more or less from their Grecian predecessors. If Plautus indulged in a greater licence of plot than Terence, it was not because his invention was in that respect more fertile, but because he served himself from the more variously furnished storehouse of a different school. Indeed Plautus himself seems to have had some doubts, whether his own adoption of the liberties indulged in by Aristophanes and others, especially in the introduction of high and reverend personages for low and ludicrous purposes, would be tolerated; at least if we may judge by the apology he thought it necessary to make for his Amphitruo, in the prologue to it :

Faciam ut commista sit Tragicocomædia :
Nam me perpetuo facere ut sit Comædia,
Reges quo veniant et Dî, non par arbitror,


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